I still remember the day that we photographed our first wedding. Looking back, there was so much to learn. Being a wedding photographer means being in five different places and moments, all at the same time, and it’s daunting when you first step into those shoes. But there are moments that seem as though I was in them yesterday– seeing the bride coming down the stairs, dress trailing behind her; the groom’s tears as he spoke his vows; their joyful waves as they speeded away on a boat down the Willamette River. Each wedding has been like that for me. It’s the moments that stay, each of them as individual as the couple that we’re photographing. Each event has it’s own personal stamp. It’s finding those qualities that really thrill me as a photographer. I love seeing them through a different lens than the last and telling each story as a new chapter to our own story of documentation. It’s an incredible privilege to be trusted to tell the story of one of the most important days in one’s life. And it’s not something that I– we, because Will and I still photograph as a team, so that those moments have complementary perspectives– take lightly. I love that this is what I do with my life.
Thinking and reflecting on the past year has brought all of that back. This has been a year of significant change in our life. We welcomed a new child and life took some twists and turns. But through all of that, my love of life’s seminal moments remains. We’ve continued to tell those stories in the lives of some beautiful couples. My mind has traveled over the last several days back in time and so I thought that I’d share a few of my favorite moments with you.
I love taking the bride and groom off by themselves, both before and after the wedding. The day is filled with so much activity but for those few moments, the intimacy and love that they share is theirs alone.
This bride planned her entire color palette on the shoes– aka The Manolo Blahnik shoes worn in the Sex and the City movie by Sarah Jessica Parker. Her mom surprised her with them and I just had to take a stunning shot of them to do them full justice.
When there are little people involved in the wedding I know that there will be some great candid moments. Alice was the niece of the bride and she was peeking into the barn, where everyone was assembled waiting for the processional. And when it came her turn to go down the aisle, she nearly ran because she was so excited.
It’s the little touches, like taffy to guests that reminded this bride of her childhood, that I adore. Each summer, her family took a vacation from their home in Seattle to Cannon Beach and she returned there, with her New York-bred husband, for a wedding that celebrated those memories.
The first look is often the most romantic and emotional– and can be the setting for the very best pictures. I loved that Levant was the one shedding tears during their meeting, at the Surfsands Resort at Cannon Beach.
The father’s toast can also bring a lot of laughs. Jack’s dad was hysterical and told a story that even Rachel hadn’t heard. Their wedding at his school in Colorado, in the spring, was beautiful.
I love taking a traditional moment and making it something special. These bridal portraits (and their first look) were set in the Driftwood Room of the Hotel Deluxe in Northwest Portland. The lighting looked like something out of a Humphrey Bogart film and so we just followed the mood.
Every wedding has something special, or three or four or ten things. Sara’s grandmother had engraved this handkerchief for her “something blue.”
There is simply nothing like a vineyard wedding for gorgeous shots. We’re so blessed in Oregon to have the thriving wine industry, and vintners who share their beautiful spaces.
Choosing a venue with stunning details– like the wedding above at Zenith Vineyards in Oregon’s wine country, or the bar at the Secret Society Ballroom in NE Portland– guarantees that we’ll have lots of inspiration to draw from. And the girls chatting made the portraits so much more convivial than just saying something silly.
We’ve photographed everything from low-key green weddings to totally luxe affairs. This wedding for an intimate twenty-five guests, at a private residence in Lake Oswego, was absolutely stunning. The entire affair had a Parisian theme because the groom had proposed at the top of the Eiffel tour!
This was Evelyn’s grandmother’s brooch and though she had passed away years before, wearing as the crowning part of her ensemble meant that she was there for each moment with her.
I LOVE seeing the reactions of all of the friends and family. Brian’s mom was over the moon during their ceremony
in their hometown in Eastern Washington. The bride literally got married in her childhood backyard. How cool is that?
One of the fun things about photographing a couple immediately after the ceremony is that NOTHING
can stop traffic like a bride and groom, even a MAX train! Passersby are always so excited for them.